<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="65001"%> Rows of Triangles -- Ocean Waves

Ocean-wave row blocks

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The classic Ocean Wave is made of scraps rather than tone-on-tone fabrics, and the variety of colors brings it to life in a whole quilt. Here, we're sticking to tone-on-tone to illustrate the blocks. Click on a left-column block to see a whole-quilt mockup.

Ocean Wave

Ocean Waves

Ocean Wave
Ocean Wave
The Ocean Wave/Sapphire Quilt Block

You've got to give a pat on the back to the Kansas City Star for its recycling spirit. Designer McKim's Ocean Wave was first published in the newspaper in 1928, then as The Ocean Wave and Sapphire Quilt Block in 1942 and 1953, respectively. It's laid out on a 12x12-square grid.

Ocean Waves

Nancy Cabot's Ocean Waves was published in her Chicago Tribune column in 1937. It is far easier to make than McKim's. Cabot's block has two diagonal seams that spare the quilter from sewing awkward angles when s/he joins the sides together. Like McKim's version, it's laid out on a 12x12-square grid.

Cabot also published a square-on-point version of the block, called Ocean Wave, in 1936. Similar to the modern version of Ocean Wave (below), it nonetheless used the same diagonal seams through the center that she went on to use in her 1937 block.

On-point Ocean Wave

Ocean Wave (popular)

You'll see that in the classic blocks, the triangles that form the "wave" are in fact a diagonal row of sawtooth triangles. The version you'll find all over the web turns the entire block pattern 45 degrees to make it into easy-to-join sawtooth rows. It's laid out on an 8x8 grid.

The classic quilt block that most resembles this modern Ocean Wave is Jubilee, from a 1935 Nancy Page column in the Birmingham News. Page's version had larger triangular corners (instead of a square and triangles), and she used a single-piece center, but the layout is otherwise identical.

Click on a graphic to see a whole-quilt mockup.

The Ladies Art Company's Ocean Waves was a border block, published in 1897. To see it, click here:

Cut Glass Dish

Path Thru
the Woods
Path Thru the Woods
Sun & Shade

From a Lockport catalog of unknown age comes this pretty pinwheel set of triangles in an X cross. Nancy Page, we understand, called it Sun & Shade in 1938.

Lockport recommended blue and white for the block, with a print for the large triangles. Its illustration of the whole-quilt block included three borders—white, print, and dark blue.

Path Thru the Woods is drawn up on an 8x8 grid.


The block might have been close to Emily Brontë's heart—if she'd ever heard of it. The novel was published in 1847. Brontë died in 1848.

Linton was published in 1897 in the Ladies Art Company's catalog (#359).

It's possible that the name Linton has a literary origin. In Wuthering Heights, that creepy Victorian bodice-ripper featuring Heathcliff and Catherine, Edgar Linton was Catherine's boring husband and thus the third leg of a strange little life-and-afterlife love triangle. We hear Heathcliff was a vampire. Hooray! Time for another movie.

We're the only source to notice the coincidence of Wuthering Heights and the block Linton's name. If you ask us, though, it fits, if only because the block is as weird as the book. Like Barrister's block and Irish Puzzle, Linton and Path Thru the Woods are identical in a whole-quilt setting. The Linton block starts where the center of Path Thru the Woods begins. And yet Linton is drawn up on a 10x10 grid, while Path Thru the Woods is an 8x8. We don't get it.

To top that off, Linton's two long, center seams are all that keep it from being identical to London Square (below).

London Square
London Square

London Square is from a booklet called "Q Book 111: Round the World," which was published sometime between 1960 and 1970; it was part of a series of at least 12 booklets that included 12 quilt blocks each, many of them appliqué blocks.